UK holidaymakers urged to carry ATOL certificate

Holidaymakers in the UK are being urged to carry their ATOL certificate when setting off on their summer holiday.

Ahead of the summer holiday season, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is advising passengers to make sure that they have easy access to their ATOL certificate when abroad. The certificate may be a paper copy, or as a document or attachment that could be accessed on a mobile phone or tablet device.

The advice comes as more than eight million passengers are expected to depart the UK for a relaxing summer break, despite the excellent weather at home.

The ATOL certificate authenticates that the holiday is financially protected and also confirms the agency protecting it. The authentication would imply that if the travel company fails, tourists will be refunded – or if already abroad, repatriated at no extra cost.

The ATOL certificate also explains what to do and who to contact if a travel operator fails.

Head of ATOL, Andy Cohen, said: ‘So long as you have an ATOL certificate you can rest assured your holiday is financially protected and, if your travel company collapses you will not lose out.

If you are yet to fly, we will make sure you receive a full refund and if you are abroad we will work to ensure you can finish your trip without disruption. It is important to take your ATOL certificate with you abroad, so you know what to do and who to contact, and you can continue to enjoy your holiday with the minimum of hassle.’

‘Many holidaymakers will be looking to snap-up a last minute deal with the hope of getting a cheaper price. However please don’t be too hasty and make sure you check the travel operator is ATOL protected and once booked you should receive an ATOL certificate immediately,’ he added.

By law, all holidaymakers buying an air holiday from a UK-based travel operator will receive an ATOL certificate. In case an ATOL holder collapses the primary source of funding is the Air Travel Trust (ATT), the CAA says in its release.